Grand Tournament features golf, tennis, Mah Jongg

ImageThe number 18 is a spiritual number in Judaism. The number 18 is an even more spiritual number in my house. This year, the number 18 is a really grand number at the Alper JCC.

Judaism as a religion is very focused on life. The word for life in Hebrew is chai. The two Hebrew letters that make up the word “chai” are chet and yud. In Gematria (the numerical value of Hebrew letters), chet is equivalent to 8 and yud is equivalent to 10. So chai (chet and yud together) equals 18. For this reason, many Jews give gifts of money in multiples of 18. In my house, golf is almost a religion.

Golf courses are 18 holes. In 1858, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in Scotland, the granddaddy of all golf courses, issued an official decree that one round of links, or 18 holes, constituted an official match. Another legend claims that the number 18 originated as a suggestion from one of the St. Andrews old-timers, who noted that it took exactly 18 shots to finish a fifth of scotch — a shot per hole. Regardless, 18 is the number.

The numerological alignment intensifies this year when the Dave and Mary Alper JCC holds its 18th Annual Grand Tournament to raise money for pre-school, after-school and summer camp scholarship programs and the seniors program. The events include golf, men’s and women’s tennis and Mah Jongg.

This year, the Golf Tournament will again take place on Thursday, May 6, at the Crandon Golf Course on Key Biscayne (ocean, iguanas and breath-taking views). It kicks off at 11 a.m. with check-in and a casual lunch; the shotgun start is at 12:30 p.m. and concludes with an awards reception & buffet supper at 5:30 p.m. Along the way, treats to tempt the most stringent dieter and games and contests including best ball, longest drive, longest putt and closest to the pin. The goody bag is always one of the highlights of the event. Last year’s Golf Tournament sold out with a waiting list, so register early if you don’t want to be left out.

The Men’s Tennis Tournament will be held Sunday, Apr. 18 and the Women’s Tennis Tournament will be held Monday, Apr. 27. Both will be at the Alper JCC Tennis Courts.

Registration and continental breakfast begin at 8:30 a.m., the tournament begins at 9 a.m. and lunch and awards ceremony is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Each event includes breakfast, lunch, goody bag and prizes.

The Mah Jongg competition will take place on Monday, Apr. 26 at 12:45 p.m. at the J’s Suchman Lobby (rotunda). Mah Jongg will also include lunch, prizes, food and lots of goodies.

Both the Women’s Tennis Tournament and the Mah Jongg competition also feature an auction.

The Alper JCC provides more than $200,000 in scholarships each year to people with limited financial resources for preschool, after school care, summer camp, special needs and senior adult activities. In these difficult times, scholarships are needed more than ever.

Even if your game is not quite up to par, everyone’s a winner at the Grand Tournament with a steady stream of amazing door prizes, goodie bags, raffle prizes, delicious food and lots of fun. L’Chaim, To Life! All tournament events are open to the community; however, advance registration is required.

For more information, call 305-271-9000, ext. 230.

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